Soft Hornwort - Ceratophyllum submersum


    A submerged, free-floating bright green aquatic plant having a feathery appearance in water. The leaves are soft and three or four forked. The small flowers are green.

    Similar Species

    Ceratophyllum demersum (Rigid Hornwort) has leaves that divide no more than twice from their base. C submersum (Soft Hornwort) has leaves divided 3-4 times.

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Leaves forked 3 - 4 times

    Recording advice

    The County Recorder has asked for a specimen of this plant to be retained for verification


    Ponds, still water.

    When to see it

    Flowers July to September.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Locally distributed in England and Wales.

    VC55 Status

    Infrequent and local in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 22 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current checklist (Jeeves 2011) it is listed as rare, but possibly overlooked.

    It is on the VC55 Rare Plant Register

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map